Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last Minute

I can't believe that tomorrow is May 1st.  Two new May  blocks for the Blogger Girls BOM will be posted, and as of today I had not yet done the April blocks.  Thankfully, I got them both done today.  Here is the first one:

And here is the second one:

The difference between  the two block patterns is the the top block has the "house" shapes (in red) pointing outward, and the bottom block has them pointing inward.  I made one other change to the second block and that was to use a "square in a square" (the purple and yellow) instead of a plain square for the center unit.

These blocks are really fun to do, but choosing fabrics can be a little tricky since the pieces are so small.  If you use a larger print, it can get muddy looking.   I placed a quarter in the next photo to show the scale.  These little cuties finish at 6 inches.

I'm not going to bother putting away the 30's repro fabrics, and hopefully I will be more timely with the May blocks.
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The mother of invention

When is a shirt not a shirt?

When it's a cozy new cover for a microwavable heating pad!

My dad had this "aromatherapy" neck warmer that you heat in the microwave, and then wrap around your neck to enjoy some heat therapy.

It had a nice, plush cover, but the directions said to remove the cover before putting it in the microwave. (The cover material was made of polyester and nylon so I'm guessing they were afraid it would melt.)

Inside, was this heat absorbing core:

The plush covering had a very small and awkward velcro opening that was tough to remove and even tougher to put back on after heating.  My mom asked me if I could do something with it to make it easier.

I fiddled around a bit with the original cover, but couldn't enlarge the opening without making a mess of it, so I decided to start over from scratch.

I took one of my dad's old chamois shirts, and came up with a new approach.  I used one half of the shirt front, and the bottom of the shirttail, and sewed up a new cover.

Now to use it, you take the heated core and tuck it into the bottom pockets:

Close it up with the recycled shirt buttons:

and then tuck in the sides:

Ta-Da!  Ready for my dad to put around his neck for some well deserved heat therapy.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Quick and Cozy Shawl

I knitted up a shawl using simple garter stitch and letting the pretty blue variegated yarn do all the talking:

The chunky yarn was very soft,  and as it grew into a shawl it did double duty as  a nice cozy lap covering.

I find it ridiculously hard to get a nice photo of a long rectangular scarf, but there you have it.

It was only after the photo shoot, that I realized I had forgotten to trim the fringes neatly.  Anyhow, enough with the excuses, it came out quite nicely and will be donated as part of our Prayer Shawl Ministry.

On the topic of knitting, this Bunny Dog sweater pattern was featured on the Lion Brand website.  Think I have time to knit one up for Toby before Easter? :-)

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Spools!

I finished sewing the binding on my Mini Spools wallhanging:

Originally, I was only going to outline the spools with stitch-in-the-ditch quilting and leave it at that since this is such a small quilt.  (15 x 17")  After I did, I decided to try and make the spools stand out a little bit more  and so I added the diagonal quilting on the white background.

Here are the "tools" I used to do the diagonal stitches:
A roll of 1/4" marking tape, and my sewing machine's edge guide

Using a long ruler as a guide, I put a piece of tape every three inches.   I sewed right up against the tape to get the first quilting lines.

To fill in the quilting with more closely spaced stitches, I used the edge guide attachment on my sewing machine.  I adjusted it  to be 1 and 1/2 inches from the needle.

By following the previous stitching with the edge guide, I was able to make another straight line of quilting stitches without having to mark a line.  It did the trick for me.  (Seems that I will do anything to avoid learning to do freemotion quilting.)

This little gem of a project was so much fun, and will be hung by my sewing machine.    I'm going to try doing the Mini Swoon next.

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